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Tis the season for celebrating the holidays and what better way to do that then with family and friends. Often festive celebrations involve an over abundance of rich foods but you don’t need to avoid the shortbread or plum pudding to be healthy this holiday season.

There are five things you can do to make this holiday a little healthier while still enjoying your festive favourites!

Enjoy vegetables and fruit.
If you are hosting this season be sure to make seasonal vegetables and fruit the focus of your meal. They offer great colour, flavour and variety. Serve raw with a yogurt dip, as a salad or cooked as a side. Poached fruit like apple or pear also makes a delicious dessert.

When you are a guest be sure to take advantage of the vegetables and fruit offered. They are a great way to add balance to traditional holiday favourites.

Never go to a party hungry.
You’ll be more likely to over eat if you go to a party hungry. So eat small meals and snacks through out the day so you are not hungry but also not stuffed when you arrive.

Choose your holiday favourites.
This holiday choose only your favourite festive dishes. Let you eyes take in all the food available before you start loading up your plate. Eat slowly and enjoy your food. Take the smallest amount that will make you happy, a smaller plate may help with this.

Toast the holidays with a mocktail.
Enjoy mocktails this holiday season. They are a genius way to be festive without the added alcohol – not to mention they come in so many delicious flavours!

Are you hosting? Providing mocktail options at your event is a great way to accommodate guests who don’t wish to drink, are driving, pregnant, or considering pregnancy. This way, everyone feels included and has a great time.

If you do decide to drink this season please do so responsibly following the low-risk drinking guidelines.

Plan a holiday celebration around an activity.
Staying active over the holidays is a great way to decrease stress and have fun with family and friends. There are so many things you can plan to do.

Take it outside:

  • Try snoccer (snow soccer), snow pitch (baseball), or freeze tag
  • Go tobogganing, skating, snowshoeing or skiing
  • Hold a snowball throwing contest – choose targets such as tree trunks, poles or other pre-established targets
  • Organize a snowman or fort making contest

If you have to stay indoors, try:

  • Having a dance party
  • Building an obstacle course
  • Heading to the local rec centre for an extended family swim or neighbourhood skate party

Here’s to a happy and healthier holiday season!

Shannon RD
Registered Dietitian
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